German airline Lufthansa has unveiled plans for luxurious new first-class cabins with double beds and closable doors.
‘Suite Plus’ cabins come with a large table, a wardrobe, an entertainment system, and two wide seats that can be combined into a bed. The cabin can be made completely private with a floor-to-ceiling door.
Passengers flying in this class will also be served a gourmet menu at a time of their choosing.
“The First Class Suite Plus conveys the feeling of privacy and individuality similar to a hotel room - only at an altitude of eleven kilometres," explained Lufthansa CEO Jens Ritter at the product’s launch in Berlin on 28 February.
The cabins will be introduced in 2024 on the airline’s new Airbus A350s. They are part of its €2.5 billion long-haul revamp dubbed ‘Lufthansa Allegris’.
As well as upgrading its seat offerings, Lufthansa is modernising its fleet, which will cut fuel use and emissions. It is investing in new long-haul aircraft, including ‘Dreamliners’ that will consume up to 30 percent less fuel than the previous model.
How does first class compare to economy?
Lufthansa introduced its new Premium Economy offering in spring 2022. It features increased leg room and the ability to lean back further without affecting the person behind you thanks to the seat being encased in a hard shell.
Although it doesn’t quite match up to the luxury of first class, flying economy is not only cheaper but is far better for the environment. This is because it takes up less space, thereby increasing the capacity of the plane and decreasing each passenger’s individual emissions.
While calculations vary, a 2019 report by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) estimated that “premium passengers on a regional aircraft are apportioned 2.6 times more CO2 per kilometre than a passenger in economy.”
With first class cabins becoming more spacious, this figure could be even greater.
If you really want to reduce your carbon footprint, why not take the train to your next destination instead?
Europe is investing heavily in rail infrastructure. Long-distance train travel is becoming cheaper, faster and greener than ever before, meaning there’s never been a better time to go flight free.